Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy
Print version ISSN 1413-3555
LEITE, Poliana H. et al. Heart rate responses during isometric exercises in patients undergoing a phase III cardiac rehabilitation program. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.5, pp. 383-389. ISSN 1413-3555. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-35552010000500006.
BACKGROUND: The magnitude of cardiovascular responses is dependent on the static and dynamic components as well as the duration and intensity of the contraction performed. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the heart rate responses to different percentages of isometric contractions in 12 patients (63±11.6 years) with coronary artery disease and/or risk factors for coronary artery disease that were participating in a phase III cardiac rehabilitation program. METHODS: Heart rate variation (ΔHR) was evaluated during maximum (MVC, five and ten seconds in duration) and submaximal (SMVC, 30 and 60% of MVC-5, until muscle exhaustion) voluntary contraction, using a handgrip dynamometer. Additionally, the representative index of cardiac vagal modulation (RMSSD index) was calculated at rest (pre-contraction), at the final 30 seconds of SMVC and during recovery (post-contraction). RESULTS: ΔHR showed higher values in MVC-10 versus MVC-5 (17±5.5 vs 12±4.2 bpm, p<0.05) and the SMVC-60 vs SMVC-30 (19±5.8 vs 15±5.1 bpm, p<0.05). However, results for CVM-10 showed similar ΔHR compared to results for CVSM (p> 0.05). RICVM at rest decreased (p<0.05) during SMVC-30 (30% = 27.9±17.1 vs 12.9±8.5 ms) and SMVC-60 (60% =25.8±18.2 vs 9.96±4.2 ms), but returned to the baseline values when the contraction was interrupted. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with coronary artery disease and/or risk factors for coronary heart disease, low intensity isometric contraction, maintained over long periods of time, presents the same effect on the responses of HR, compared to a high intensity or maximal isometric contraction of briefly duration.
Keywords : isometric contraction; heart rate; autonomic nervous system; cardiovascular diseases.